"Pongáio" was the name my Aunt Mona gave to a long, green, cool room where we gathered at her home —
replete with comfy chairs, a rocker, sewing machine, sewing goods, beautiful beads, shelves, books, bibelots, photographs, odds'n'ends, mementos of a life, treasures —
a gathering of all the useful & 'useless' things that so make life a pleasure.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Epistemic Closure

"It is frustrating: this thing that sociologists call epistemic closure. There’s a term for it, which in essence means a closed information loop." ...
"Epistemology is the study of how we know what we think we know. Smart people ask themselves: how do I know this? Other people hear something and believe it if they like it — and for sure, mere belief as the standard for truth is most of the problem. (It’s most of the problem with astrology; most astrologers have not a scant clue how they know what they know, which I call the epistemology problem.)
People whose lives are dictated by epistemic closure are unlikely to change. For them, it’s an urgently necessary defense mechanism. And if nobody has said it recently, we don’t need them to change. In fact, the notion that they can change and that we might help them change is a trap. The alternate is not preaching to the choir; rather, we who approach existence with some curiosity and a touch of humor are the ones who need to get smarter, and teach one another to be smarter and more effective.
Practicing your religion is not about all those sinners; it’s about you being more faithful. This is the way out of ‘us and them’ thinking. Also, in no way must you be unkind to anyone; you just don’t need to give them your precious time and energy. You don’t owe your blood to any vampires."
— Eric Francis, What Do We Do About These Flesh-Eating Zombies?